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  1. Default

    It sounds like the fastest you are used to driving is 80kph. Most of our expressways are 70mph = 112 kph. There are times you will be a traffic hazard if you DO NOT GO FASTER than the speed limit as lines of traffic form behind you. In Detroit, traffic sometime AVERAGES 80 mph (130kph) even though the speed limit is 70. I just drove from Detroit to Brighton and people were riding my tail at 80mph. This is the reality of driving in the USA.

    I assume traffic will be similar from NY to Florida. Let's not even talk about construction zones. Save yourself a lot of aggravation and hop a plane.

  2. #12

    Default Roadtripping is not Airtripping

    Let's face it . . . seeing the Eastern US from the air is not going to be a satisfying experience. Despite what others have advised, I believe you should do the road trip. If you follow the route I suggested - and I've driven all those roads many times - you should do fine.

    Get the GPS to assist you (about $140 with mount) and take I-78 to Harrisburg, PA, I-81 to Exit 81 at Fort Chiswell, VA, I-77 to Columbia, SC, I-26 to I-95 and I-4 from Daytona Beach. Those roads all connect and it will be interstate all the way. You can probably make an overnight stop around Roanoke, VA, the halfway point, but if you really want to enjoy the scenery, make two overnights at Staunton, VA and again at Columbia, SC.

    I agree with Travelingman that some drivers do exceed the speed limits, but just stay in the right-hand lane and maintain the posted speed. Don't risk a traffic ticket by trying to keep up with the flow. I don't think you'll have anywhere near the traffic on the route I prescribed, anyway.
    Last edited by Harry Kline; 10-16-2015 at 02:12 PM. Reason: Add stopovers

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Drive at the speed with which you are comfortable.

    Quote Originally Posted by travelingman View Post
    There are times you will be a traffic hazard if you DO NOT GO FASTER than the speed limit as lines of traffic form behind you.
    Downunder where I live the top speed limit on the open highway is 100/110 kmh (62/68 mph). When I am in the US I rarely exceed this, setting my cruise at 64mph. I have been told ever so often that it will cause an accident on the open road, or that I will cause an accident.

    In the US you will find that even the most law abiding citizens, when they get in a vehicle, assume the road law does not apply to them,. (Either that, or they can't read.)

    Yet in almost 200000 miles now, I have never had traffic build up behind me (other than in congestion), but I have often found another vehicle will stay behind me travelling at the same speed for dozens of miles - even more than 100 miles. the highways in US are second to none, and they are very wide. (two lanes in what at home would be three lanes.) Those who do not want to stay behind, fly past without worry..

    One thing you might find useful. Bring a small flag with you, and put it in the rear window of your vehicle. Let others know you are not a local, and not used to this traffic. With a flag in the window, I don''t get honked, or subjected to road rage.

    Having said that, be aware that many highways have a minimum speed limit below which you must not fall. Typically 45 or 55 mph (72 o0r 88kmh), and of course, obey lane courtesy at all times.

    Remember your first priority is always to drive safely. If for you that means 60 miph, let the others fly past at 70 or 80.


  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some General Thoughts on Driving in the US

    It's not something that we think about too often, about as often as a fish thinks about water, but of course we all have our own observations and assumptions about driving in North America. I went back and looked for a compilation of my own most general recommendations on driving here (as opposed to in Europe where I've done at least a modest amount of driving) and you'll find them here.


  5. #15


    I don't know if fspro15 is still reading these replies, but if you are, here's what I would do:

    If you only have one week for the whole journey (NYC to Florida and back), why spend more than half of it just driving there and back? Especially considering that you will have trans-atlantic flights, jet lag, New York traffic, etc. to deal with.

    If I were you, I would fly to Florida (direct or via a transfer), and then rent a car there. You have a friend living in the state - I'm sure you could have an amazing time just exploring closer to 'home', so to speak, and you would have several days to do this in a relaxed way with not too much driving every day.

    I've never been to Florida myself, but I would hazard a guess that driving around that state would beat just hammering it down and then up the I-95, just for the sake of it.

    But whatever you decide, I hope that you have a great trip!

  6. Default

    I will add one more observation and advice. The smaller your car the more aggressive pickup trucks and SUVs get behind you. I own three vehicles including a Hyundai Accent. I hate driving that little car for this very reason but it gets over 35mpg and I drive 90 miles round trip to work. They don't seem to tailgate my odyssey as much. So, if you can afford it don't rent a tiny car

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Why worry?

    Quote Originally Posted by travelingman View Post
    The smaller your car the more aggressive pickup trucks and SUVs get behind you. I hate driving that little car for this very reason but it gets over 35mpg and I drive 90 miles round trip to work.
    You're not the first person whom I have heard say that. Why do you allow it to irritate you? Do you have so little confidence in your driving ability that you can't ignore them? Keep a firm speed, don't slow down or speed up, and ignore them. If you're not breaking the law you have nothing to worry about. It's the aggressive driver who is in breaking the law. There are laws in most (if not all) States about tailgating.


  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    There are laws in most (if not all) States about tailgating
    I don't think I've ever seen it enforced.

  9. Default

    I-95 would not be my idea for a road trip, unless high-stress high-speed interstate driving is your lifeblood. No scenery besides exhaust stunted trees and McDonalds signs, lots of speeding tractor trailers and other large vehicles, predatory cops, and a whole host of other unpleasant experiences. I lived for 20 years along the I-95 corridor in New Jersey, and I've never seen anyone drive it for fun.

  10. #20


    Several spot on comments about I-95 "traffic situations" from NYC to Orlando, FL. NYC to Fredericksburg, Virginia (south of Washington, DC) is a particularly bad stretch under normal everyday conditions, especially from 50 miles north of Baltimore to 50 miles south of Washington, DC, and very bad during rush hour (6am-930am, 3:00pm-7:00pm, Fridays even worse!). Richmond, Virginia to Orlando, Florida, can move along nicely under good conditions (notwithstanding traffic near cities during rush hours), but it doesn't take much to choke things up. Nothing worse than slowing from 80 mph to 30 mph in a short distance.

    Toll roads. There are lots of them especially from NYC to Washington, DC. Part of some roads are toll and other parts not tolled, side by side lanes. FL turnpikes are tolled and I believe a toll card is required to exit the turnpike in most places (available at rest areas/service plazas). Orlando is full of multiple toll roads.

    Alternative routes. The suggested alternative of I-78 West from NYC to I-81 south (at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) is a very good one. There are several interstate branches from I-81 over to I-95 south, beginning with I-64 to Richmond, Virginia. I would recommend you avoid Atlanta's notorious traffic.

    Savannah, Georgia and St. Augustine, Florida, are both close to I-95, and good places to stretch your legs and grab a bite to eat. One has "southern charm" and the other has "Spanish charm." Both are rich in history. Charleston, South Carolina, is another gem but an hour or two of of I-95. But, you could drive from Charleston to Savannah before rejoining I-95.

    Buy and use a GPS if you make the trip. It will be a huge assist in navigating some of the city areas, especially leaving NYC. Use a cell phone to check traffic and choke points along the way, e.g., before you leave the airport/car rental agency and during rest stops along the way.

    If you purchase in advance, an airline flight or train ride might make better choices. You and your friend have plenty to do from Orlando (Disney World, but very crowded during the holidays), Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach to Melbourne Beach area for salt water and sun, St. Augustine for culture and history and more.

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